Freshman Pitchers

How hard should a normal freshman pitcher be throwing…

The norm is upper sixties to lower seventies, my freshmen year the other two pitchers in my grade threw mid-eighties and low eighties both were varsity pitchers though, hope this helps.

Dear Heelan:

In my coaching experience I would agree the 14-15 year olds normally throw from 70-73 MPH. If you are smaller, maybe 67-69 MPH. When I was at Central HS, I think our average JV pitcher threw 75-77 MPH. Our top three pitchers last year, that were 10th graders on the JV, threw 77-80 MPH. So, if you are right in that range I think you should feel confident that you have a chance to hit upper 80’s as a 12th grader.

If I were you, I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in numbers but focus of effectiveness. If you are weight training, running, and using resistance throwing then the velocity will come with persistance. At the end of the day, upgrade your pitches making them as sharp as possible.

Low 70s is pretty good for your age. You might surprise yourself, too. Pitchers tend to gain a lot of velocity quickly in high school as they fill out and get a little stronger. Keep working hard. A good work ethic and a good, fastball are a good way to get noticed by the jv or varsity coach.

I agree, as a highschool varsity pitcher, all you should need is a good fastball, and a decent curveball and for some a change-up. Usually just 1 plus pitch, 1 moderate pitch and 1 moderate to weak pitch. I throw a 2-seam, which has good sink. A “slurve/slider” type pitch, which is usually enough to upset timing with a some added movement and I have a knuckleball, which I hardly ever throw unless my coach tells me to. It is moderate, it doesn’t suck, but it’s not a pro k-ball. But I have hit 85mph a few times, I usually sit on 81-82mph with a 4-seam. My 2-seam has quite a bit of movement at 77-79mph. I throw it how most of you would describe a gyro, I throw 3/4 and I hold my 2-seam as you would normally hold it and throw it with clock-wise “football” spin. And for some reason that seems to give it a nice amount of sink. So I don’t really use it as you would use a conventional fastball, that’s why I throw a 4-seamer. Also I compaired it to a gyro, I do not pronate.

But anyways, I throw 3-different pitches, and yes all of them could be better. But it isn’t as so much about speed, it is about hitting those vital spots as a pitcher at the right times that make you good. As a 9th grade pitcher, I wouldn’t worry about too much on velocity and how many different pitches you can throw, I would just work on a good fastball and a curveball. Then once you do good with those mabey add a 3rd. I don’t have any confidence in the change-up, which I wish I did but that’s why I occasionally throw a knuckler…rarely.

As a freshmen I threw about 70mph. I am now in 11th grade and I have been working out and stuff for awhile now and I have been lucky enough to touch 85mph a couple of times. So like Mr.Steven Ellis said, “As you fill out in high school you will gain more velocity”.

But whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck.

thanks for the posts guys. I am about 5’7 and i weigh about 120 and i top out at 80 …my goal when im a senior is 87…thats stretching it i think…but im supposed to be 6’3 -6’5. Is my goal out of reach? or do i have a chance

Well, in 9th grade I was 5’7 and I weighed 140. Now I am a junior and I am 6’ 170lbs. I punt on about 5in and 30lbs in two years…I know I will get a little bigger. Probably about 10 more pounds and mabey a inch or two. But anyways the fastest I have ever thrown this year and in my life is 85mph. I think if you just lift normally and things you should hit 87mph no problem. Aside from what you are supposed to be at full maturity…you will still continue to grow and as you grow, your velocity will increase with physical maturity. Between now and your senior year I would expect anywhere from 5-7mph increase on average due to physicaly maturity and regular physical activity. I think by my senior year I will be close to hitting 87-88mph. I also work out and things regularly. But I to am also still growing.

So to sum it up. I would say your goal is definatly reachable as long as you stay with baseball and keep pitching. You shouldn’t have any problems hitting 87mph. And if you are determined enough. Goodluck.

thanks do you know what i can do that i can get my velocity up with thats in my control? like long toss? weighted balls?

Long toss is ok, but weighted balls are extreamly bad!!! There effects are short term and they are bad on your arm. It’s just like lifting free weights, if you stop doing it, you lose your effects. But lifting weights is not harmful. Throwing weighted ball are. I would just do bullpen sessions along with some leg and regular upped body work. It has seemed to do fine for me. Weighted balls are bad on your joints also. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone. Long toss, may help a little. But nothing like just going out and pitching. And some free weights will do.

For the sake of discussion, I really feel the desire to play devils advocate in this situation.

Who says weighted baseballs are bad???
Also I’d like to know how you determined that they are bad for your joints. Football players throw a 14 oz ball, I’m talking about throwing a 6 oz ball. Pitching is hard on the body no matter what the ball you use is.
Tons of people report solid velocity increase following a proper over/under weighted ball program.

ANYTHING that you will loose ability/strength at if you quit doing it. This is the amazing human body. It is constantly adapting to stimuli. Thus if you remove stimuli, it will loose anything gained from the stimuli. For example if you quit stimulating the muscles the body determines that you do not need as much muscle for activity and you loose muscle mass/strength. This allows the body to use less calories, and carry around less weight

I agree that pitching is a must to gain velocity (I don’t feel like that is really debatable)

However, their are tons of tools that make up the giant picture that is improving velocity.

These often include:

Weighted balls,
Weight lifting,

I would agree with all of your following gains but weighted balls.

A small excerpt that may be more of what I what I was trying to say in my own words and a link:

"The use of weighted balls is possibly the worst idea in a long line of bad ideas. The key to velocity and keeping the arm healthy is developing and using ‘proper mechanics’. To add weight to poor or marginal mechanics would be ridiculous at best, dangerous at worst.

Furthermore it appears the gains with weighted balls are temporary. They go away. Therefore to place a young’s arm at risk for a temporary spike in velocity would not be wise.

Furthermore, pitchers in the 1950’s & 1960’s NEVER used weighted balls and the injury rate to pitchers of that era was small compared to 1992. Therefore we can safely assert that we can achieve great results both in terms of production and arm health without the use of weighted balls.

Furthermore the use of weighted balls confuses release points and steals precious TIME away from doing the important work - hitting a spot from a mound- 60’6" away. To pitch a baseball successfully is a skill requiring amazing precision. The precision of throwing a 5 oz baseball and hitting a spot 60 feet way is phenomenally intricate and complex. Confusing that intricacy and precision by changing the weight of the implement is a very, very bad idea.

I believe the current fascination with weighted balls is a microcosm of a current trend in our society to look for a silver bullet…a short cut…a magic pill. It implies simply by using a unique tool that we can achieve results without the long hard trudge that is required to develop excellence.

The view that long toss is some sort of panacea in terms of arm speed, arm strength and arm health is almost as ridiculous as the weighted ball issue. While not as risky as weighted balls, long toss is also given far too much credit for any success of any pitcher. While I’m not against long toss per say, doing it improperly or giving it an inordinate amount of training time is likewise a very poor idea.

Once again the key to velocity and the health of arm, shoulder and elbow is developing and using ‘proper mechanics’. To try and throw it as far as you can with poor or faulty mechanics would again be a very bad idea and automatically place yourself at risk. Therefore you should only throw it as far as you can do so perfectly.

Furthermore to project the baseball as far as you can, in terms of distance, would necessitate changing your release point, elevating your front shoulder and possibly slinging the baseball…an act that is contrary to effective pitching from 60’6" in almost every way imaginable. I certainly don’t think this is the motor program we want to be developing in our pitchers. Like weighted balls, I believe long toss also confuses release points, alters good mechanics and steals precious TIME away from doing the important work - hitting a spot from a mound- 60’6" away ."

So after reading that do you see eye to eye with me? Or are you still convinced that you are correct in your statement?

And to your statement who says weight balls are bad? Hmmm…let me think about 50% of the people who don’t say they are good say they are bad…Probably even more than that. Plenty of people think they are bad for your arm and pitching. Many of college experts and porfessional pitchers. And they have good statements and proof to back it up.

[quote]centerfield2150 These often include:

Weighted balls,
Weight lifting,
Ect. [/quote]

I would approve of all of the following except weighted balls. In general, most people even pitchers of all ages even some of the most determined including myself, do not base their workouts towards “pitching”. I do a lot of regular based workouts. Like free weights. I do curls and butterflies and bench press, push-ups…ect. As for lower body I do some squats and a little bit of sprints. But anyways the point is Heelan asked and I told him what I do and did and what results I got. And by just excercising conventionally, not towards “pitching” so much, I still got a good velocity increase. So you do not have to soley workout just as a pitcher would or should to get and increase.

And I would just go out and do bullpen sessions and throw 110-120 pitches every few days and just continue to workout and with physicaly maturity, heelan is still young and has time to grow alot more I am sure, he should be able to reach his goal without ruining his arm by using weightballs. And who wants to even risk ruining their arm just for a 3-5mph short term weighted ball workout. Or even if it is just cutting their arm short 10 years or even 5 or what it would have been able to last for. Why? Speed isn’t everything. What about the guy who tops out at 80? Well, he has to do what the rest of the world does and work of something that moves. And master that. I’m sure you probably see what I mean by now.

Goodluck Heelan :wink:

Well, I understand the point of bad mechanics with weighted balls isn’t good but I have to say pitching with bad mechanics period is bad.

What I honestly don’t get though whitesox is that you used an article by Ron Wolforth in 1992

Did you scroll down to see that Wolforth has completely dumped his 1992 theories and now believes you can gain excellent velocity.

At the end of his newer, pro weighted balls article:

"Sincerity is not a test of truth. I was sincere in 1992. I was sincerely wrong. I’m not saying that in 2004 I have all of the answers, for I know I do not. But the documented results of our training over the past 18 months suggest we are becoming far more closely aligned with the truth. My suggestion to those who are fearful or dubious of the use of weighted balls: I understand your skepticism. Keep yourself open to at least the possibility that you maybe slightly mistaken in your current understandings of the truth. And good luck in your journey. "

I wasn’t basing my whole expression on wheather he still believes in this. I used his article to explain to you what I was trying to put into my own simplier version, which I still agree with.

So I guess you just have to make a decision all in yourself. Are you willing to risk your arm’s health on someone elses theory, are you willing to try and take a shortcut and sacrafice your arms health. Or would you just rather keep pitching and not thrive on velocity and work on movement and location and stick to working out and other more safer excercises. Then again, there’s always that chance I could be wrong. I have never used them, nor will I in the future just because their is always that risk.

But then again, with the statement I put above “just because their is always that risk.” I know you could say that about pitching itself but I have read thousands of thing that invoke that pitching with weighted balls is harmful, but thatn again you could say that you have read thousands of things that say it is good. It is just something you have to choose for yourself.

It is just something you have to choose for yourself.[/quote]

Well, put and I agree. Like many things for pitching there isn’t a definite answer.

Personally I look at where I was at, and what the odds are of making it. They helped me to make good progress.

this happens evertime…now since theirs 2 stories to this (weightball training) i dont know what to do. Should i or should i not?

Well, it is a personal decision. You just have to collect all the information you can and make an educated decision on what you think is in your best benifit. I am not willing to risk it for a few mph gain. I would rather just workout continue to grow and just pitch and try to perfect my mechanics and I think results will follow, “that I want”. In what ever you choose to do, I wish you health happiness and luck.

WhiteSox101 :wink:

This topic is a personal one to me. I think there is always a risk in everything you do. But, as a player and coach, the most important way to look at an athletic situation is maintaining good health. As a coach, you are always looking for ways to increase performance to help the team. As a player, you are always looking for ways to avoid the risk of getting hurt, but still going “all out” for the team.

As a person who has researched each theory and used weighted balls as a player, the one thing that comes to mind is mechanics. The biggest thing I look at is if a player’s arm hurts throwing a standard ball it is going to hurt throwing a weighted ball. It each instance the player has poor throwing mechanics and it doen’t matter what they throw. If mechanics are sound and proper, the only way to increase throwing velocity is through resistance throwing. Especially, if a pitcher has gained physical maturity. The under/over weight training principle is used in every sport. It is a proven about 1000’s of research articles to work. (We can usually prove this one!)

To say that using weighted balls is “dangerous” or “risky” is totally unfounded. Your “theory” is not based on scientific fact. Please post one creditable journal article that has conducted a study that used weighted balls where injury has occured. The National Pitching Association endorses the use of resistance throwing. The NPA is the most respected pitching organization in the entire world. (Again, a fact no matter what your view on Tom House is"

In conclusion, I would much rather perform activites that are based on someone’s THEORY because it is proven to work. But, you are right by saying get the facts about it. Look around the internet and the ASMI webiste and get the low down on FACTS, not just someone’s unproven opinion.

Good Luck…

Getting back to the original subject if you are really hitting 80 mph as a 15yo freshman who can be expected to grow 8" or more then hitting 90+ mph as a senior is not at all unrealistic, but certainly not guaranteed.

As far as weighted/underweight balls go they can help you reach your potential but you should make sure you do it as part of a supervised program. Don’t just go off and start throwing them. The other thing for you to watch out for is if you start growing at a very rapid rate you’ll need to be careful about everything you do related to pitching and throwing as your arm and the rest of your body are at their most vulnerable during a growth spurt.

I am a little bit late on the weighted balls conversation, but for weighted balls nothing has hurt me yet. I use a weighted ball. I took a old baseball and water-logged it. Then I set it in the sun for a few hours and got the leather dry. Now I have a 9in ball that weighs about 10ounces… I have thrown with it soo many times and it has made my joints hurt or anything. I have also picked up about 10mph on my fastball using this ball…

id really want to hit ninety thats a reallly good nuym,ber and a good goal…i wish i had the confidence